PATIENT'S RIGHTS Office of Civil Rights Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits exclusion from services and discrimination on grounds of race, color or national origin. This extends to people with non-English or Limited English Proficiency. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act and Article 114 of the Massachusetts Constitution extend those rights to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people.

Legislation for Langage Access by State

Please scroll over and select the links to learn more about legislation information for the state.

Alabama Arizona Arkansas California Colorado
Connecticut District of Columbia Florida Illinois Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Maryland Massachusetts Minnesota
Mississippi Montana Nebraska New Hampshire
New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania
Rhode Island Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont
Washington Wisconsin


Admin Code r. 560-X-11-12(3) Each LEP Medicaid beneficiary will be notified of EPSDT services during a face-to-face interview at which time an individual who communicates in the recipient's language will be present for interpretation.


Ariz. Admin Code R9-34-204, R9-34-304, R9-34-310 The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) and its contractors shall ensure that a Notice of Action shall be available in each non-English language spoken by a significant number or percentage of fee for service members, enrollees, or potential enrollees in the contractor's geographic service area This assistance includes, but is not limited to, providing interpreter services and interpreter capability.


016-20-001 Ark. Code R. 9301, 12180, 16070 Application for medical services must be available in both English and Spanish at DHS county offices, local health units, or by mail, if requested. If the applicant needs an interpreter, that information will also be noted.


State of CA Dept of Managed Health Care (DMHC) regulations fully implement SB 853, which requires California health plans to set up a system where services, materials, and information are provided to members in a language that they speak and understand.


Colo. Rev. Stat 10-16-704 (9)(e) All managed care plans must have an access plan that includes the carrier's efforts to address the needs of covered persons with limited English proficiency.


Conn. Gen Stat. 19a-490i Each acute care hospital shall: develop and annually review a policy on the provision of interpreter services to non English speaking patients; ensure, to the extent possible, the availability of interpreter services to patients whose primary language is spoken by a group comprising not less than 5 percent of the population residing in the geographic area served by the hospital; prepare and maintain a list of qualified interpreters; notify hospital staff of the requirement to provide interpreters to non English speaking patients; post multilingual notices of the availability of interpreters.

District of Columbia

D.C. Stat. 7-2071.01(1)(A)-(B) For the purposes of the Health Care Ombudsprogram, "accessible" means providing the program's written materials in Spanish and English, and in other languages when required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or District law and interpreters to communicate with consumers in Spanish, and in other languages when required by Title VI or District law.


Fla. Stat. 381.026(4)(b)(7) A patient in a health care facility who does not speak English has the right to be provided an interpreter if the facility has a person readily available who can interpret on behalf of the patient.


210 Ill. Comp. Stat. 87/5 et. Seq; Ill. Admin. Code tit. 77, 250.265, 940.100-960 To insure access to health care information and services for LEP or non-English speaking residents, a hospital or long term care facility must do one or more of the following: (1) review policies on the use of interpreters, including the availability of staff interpreters; (2) adopt and review annually new policies for providing language assistance.


Iowa Code 135.12(1)-(2) The Office of Multicultural Health is tasked to provide comprehensive management strategies to address culturally and linguistically appropriate services


Kan. Admin. Regs. 30-60-15(a)(3) Community mental health centers must make every reasonable effort to overcome any barriers that consumers may have to receiving services, including language or other communication barriers.


907 Ky. Admin. Regs. 1:610(2)(6) For Medicaid applications, interpreter services shall be provided for persons who do not speak English.


Code Me. R. 10-144-101 Provider Manual 1.06-3 and other sections for specific health care providers. Health care providers must ensure that MaineCare members are able to communicate effectively regarding their medical needs; MaineCare will reimburse providers for interpreters required for non- and limited-English speaking members.


Md. Code Regs. Maryland Qualified Heath Centers must assure access to language interpretation if a substantial portion of the population served is LEP.


Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. Ch.111, 25j(a)-(e), Ch.123 23A(b) Every acute care hospital shall provide competent interpreter services in connection with all emergency room services provided to every non English speaker who is a patient or who seeks appropriate emergency care or treatment.


Minn. Stat. 144.651(4) The Health Care Bill of Rights states that reasonable accommodations shall be made for those who speak a language other than English.


13-000-023 Miss. Code R. 2002-04 Limited English Proficiency Plan for Medicaid includes information on forms, signage, interpreters, language line services, outreach, and other issues related to services for LEP individuals.


Mont. Code Ann. 33-36-201 (6)(d) An access plan for each managed care plan offered in the state must describe or contain the health carrier's efforts to address the needs of LEP persons.


Neb. Rev. Stat. 44-7105(2)(d) A health carrier shall maintain an access plan for each managed care plan that describes the carrier's efforts to address the needs of LEP persons.

New Hampshire

N.H. Code Admin. R. Health 201.01(ae), 303.04(c) (2), 304.05(ai)(4)(b) Standards for review of an application for a certificate of need include that health care services shall be available and accessible to 100% of the applicant's medically underserviced population during all hours of business operation. The application shall describe the assistance provided to persons for whom language is a barrier, including but not limited to: human interpreters; interpretive telephone service; and personal translation service.

New Jersey

NJ Admin Code tit. 8 43G-5.5 (c) As a condition of licensure, hospitals shall provide interpretation services when necessary for patients who do not speak English.

New Mexico

N.M. Code R. The Managed Health Care Plan (MHCP) must ensure that information and services are available in languages other than English and that services area provided in a manner that takes into account cultural aspects of the enrollee population.

New York

N.Y. Soc. Serv. Law 364-j(3)(b)(iv), (4)(e)(iv), (4)(p), (22)(e); NY Comp. Code R. & Regs. Tit. 18 360-10-15(a)(3) In managed care plans, Medicaid recipients shall not be required to participate in and may withdraw from a managed care plan if shown that the participant cannot be served by a managed care provider due to a language barrier.
S.02281 (Parker) - Equal Access to Health and Human Services for Limited English Speaking Individuals Act
The "Equal Access to Health and Human Services for Limited English Speaking Individuals" act would amend the executive law and ensure equal access to health and human services for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. It requires the New York State Department of Family Assistance, Department of Health and Department of Labor to provide free language assistance services to LEP individuals, including interpreter services and the translation of vital agency documents in 22 languages. http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=S02281. See also S.05185 (Schneiderman),http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=S05185.

A.05225-A (Espaillat)/S.5407-A (Monserrate) - Language Assistance Services for LEP Hospital Patients
This bill requires hospitals to provide language assistance services to a patient or a patient's assistant for communication of clinical and other information and that such services are available at all locations during all times that patient care is available. It also requires frequently used forms be available in all of the hospital's primary languages, provides for training of interpreters and requires hospitals to submit an annual compliance report to the Department of Health. This bill passed in the Assembly on June 22, 2009. http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A05225.

North Carolina

10A N.C. Admin. Code 48B.1201(b)(2) The local health department shall have services that are accessible to persons with limited proficiency in the English language.

North Dakota

N.D. Admin. Code 75.5-02-06.1-01(3)(b) When clients are not literate or have difficulty understanding the primary language used in the practice setting, social workers shall take steps to ensure clients' comprehension.


Ohio Admin. Code 5101:1 2 01(J)(3), 1-2-10(B)(1)(d) During application and reapplication for Medicaid, an interpreter must be provided at no cost to LEP individuals.


Okla. Admin. Code 340:1-11-10(a), (c)(1) The Department provides, at no charge, interpreter services for DHS clients, applicants, and employees with limited English proficiency to overcome language barriers and provide equal access and equal opportunity to participate in DHS services.


Or. Admin. R. 410 141 0220(1)(b)(A), (7)(a-c) Medicaid prepaid health plans (PHPs) must develop an access plan that identifies populations in need of interpreter services. Plans must also have written policies to communicate with and provide care to Medicaid recipients where no adult communicates in English.


28 Pa. Code 101.165 Hospitals should have a roster of bilingual personnel or volunteers, or both, and post bilingual signs and have other printed materials, such as hospital handbooks, medical care instructions and follow-up care, readily available.

Rhode Island

01-040-002 R.I. Code R. 4.06; 4.07; 4.08; (definition of "health care facility - R.I. Gen. Laws 23-17-2(6)) All private licensed health care facilities in the state must comply with the following Services and Admission Standards: Interpreters - Have an effective and ongoing means of interpreting and verbally communicating with non-English speaking persons who reside in the facility's geographical service area.


Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-8-16-.02(8), (16) (definition of health care facility in Tenn. Code. Ann. 68-11-201(16), 204(a)(1)) Licensed health care facilities must include in their operational policies and procedures manuals a procedure for effective communication with LEP patients for the purpose of giving notice concerning benefits, services, waiver of rights, and consent to treatment, including emergency treatment.


Tex. Hum. Res. Code Ann. 32.068 (expires September 1, 2009) Authorizes Language Interpreter Services Pilot Programs, to be established in five hospital districts across the state to provide Medicaid recipients with oral and written language services in accordance with federal law and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services publications.


Utah Code Ann. 26-7-2(3)(f) The Center for Multicultural Health shall develop and increase the capacity of the center to ensure the delivery of qualified timely culturally appropriate translation services across all department programs; and provide, where appropriate, linguistically competent translation and communication services for limited English proficiency individuals.


Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 18, 1852(a)(15) Patient bill of rights gives hospital patients who do not understand English a right to an interpreter if the language barrier presents a continuing problem to patient's understanding of the care and treatment being provided.


Wash. Admin. Code 388-271-0010 DSHS provides limited English proficient (LEP) services to applicants/recipients who are limited in the ability to read, write and/or speak English.


Wis. Stat. Ann. 609.22(8) If a significant number of enrollees of the defined network plan customarily use languages other than English, the plan shall provide access to translation services fluent in those languages to the greatest extent possible.

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